Holiday recipes: Ken Rosato's short-rib stuffed rice balls

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See how Ken Rosato makes his short-rib stuffed rice balls.

Ken Rosato's Short-rib stuffed rice balls take some time to make, but the multi-step process is worth it for special occasions.

PHASE 1 - SHORT RIBS

Ingredients
- 2.5 pounds short ribs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 chopped, cleaned carrots
- 1 chopped, cleaned celery stalk
- 1/4 cup Wondra flour
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 cups low sodium beef stock (chicken may be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise to expose the centers of the cloves
- Salt and pepper

Directions
1. Add a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper to the Wondra flour
2. Dredge each rib in the flour and pat off excess
3. Add oil to oven-safe pan and heat to medium high
4. Sear ribs until brown on all sides. Set ribs aside.
5. Add the veggies and saute for 4 or 5 minutes
6. Add tomato paste and two tablespoons of the Wondra flour dredge into the pan and stir in with the pan drippings and veggies for a minute or two
7. Stir in wine and return ribs and any juices to the pan
8. Simmer about 20 minutes, then add herbs, garlic and stock to pan, cover and place in 350 degree oven and braise for 2 hours, 15 minutes.
9. Let ribs cool for next phase of recipe.

PHASE 2 - RISOTTO

Ingredients
- 3 quarts chicken stock - simmering
- 2 minced shallots
- 1 stick butter
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions
1. Melt butter in wide saute pan
2. Add shallots and saute until translucent
3. Pour rice into butter/shallot mixture and stir for about a minute to coat grains
4. Add wine and stir until it gets absorbed - about a minute
5. Add simmering stock to rice, a ladle at a time, stirring slowly but constantly. Do not add next ladle until first ladle has become nearly fully absorbed. Repeat until you have added all your broth. If you have added all your broth before this, continue stirring over medium low heat until rice is cooked but not mushy. The entire process should take about 40 minutes.
6. Stir in cheese, set aside and let cool for phase 3

PHASE 3 - RICE BALL ASSEMBLY

Ingredients
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 8 ounce block of fresh mozzarella
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup Wondra flour
- Garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 box Panko break crumbs (plain - not seasoned)
- 1 quart peanut oil
- Your favorite marinara sauce*

Directions
1. Once ribs have cooled, remove meat from bones, chop fine and place in bowl
2. Cut mozzarella into 3/4" x 3/4" squares and place in separate bowl
3. Add frozen peas (yes, still frozen) to cooled risotto, stirring gently as to not break the grains of rice
4. Set up three large bowls
5. In first, add flour, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper
6. In second, add eggs and scramble them, add milk, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and mix to combine
7. In third, add Panko, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and mix to combine

Now to the assembly of the rice balls.
8. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the rice mixture in your palm and shape into a cup
9. Add a teaspoon of the chopped meat, a chunk of mozzarella, another teaspoon of the meat and make a "covering cup" with another two to three tablespoons of the rice mixture
10. Pack this tightly to form a ball, about the size of an orange ("arancini" in Italian translates as "little oranges")
11. Repeat until you have finished all your rice mixture. You should get 6 to 8 arancini

12. Now, take each rice ball and lightly dredge in flour, then coat in egg mixture, then dredge in Panko crumbs and set aside. Repeat until you have finished all the rice balls.

13. Heat oil in a deep pot to 350 degrees. Once the temperature is reached, deep fry the rice balls two or three at a time, turning every thirty seconds or so to cook evenly. Cook until deep golden brown. (Cook only a few at a time so the oil temperature doesn't drop - this will lead to a soggy, oily rice ball).
14. Let rice balls drain on paper towels. Serve hot with your favorite marinara sauce. (If you need to reheat them, do not microwave. Instead, heat in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes).

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE RECIPE

Ingredients
- 1 large can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in pan
2. Mince garlic cloves and add to oil - DO NOT BURN! Only heat until translucent!
3. Add tomatoes and cook until soft, then carefully crush them into a pulp
4. Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for 20 minutes

Check out the video above to see how Ken makes his short-rib stuffed rice balls.

Click here for more holiday recipes from the Eyewitness News team!

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